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Washington vs. Boston

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
8:58 a.m.

There is a bit of a buzz around the building -- and no it is not the stinging of my ears because of the windchill.

After watching the Winter Classic and seeing Crosby's heroics, I am excited to see Mr. Ovechkin take to the Garden ice for the first time in the 2007-08 season. While the snow might've been falling in Buffalo when Sid the Kid worked his magic outdoors, maybe the Bruins can do their best to ice Alexander inside the Boston Garden.

It will be a tall task for Big Z and Our Boys, however.

Thus far, Ovechkin has 30 goals and 20 assists...NASTY!

I just checked with the Ticket Office, too. If you want to come down and see the B's vs Ovechkin and company, there are seats available!

Eddie Shore Hockey!
This Date in Bruins History
January 3, All-Time Club Record: Home, 4-2-3. Road,  12-7-4. Overall,  16-9-7.

In their Fun Facts for today, added the following news items from Bruins history. Kudos to the nice folks over at the Caps website, who obviously enjoy hockey history as much as we do! Enjoy their input below.

On Jan. 3, 1929, the B’s defeated the Montreal Maroons in Montreal by a 1-0 score. Hockey Hall of Famer Eddie Shore scored the game’s lone goal after being fined by coach and general manager (and Hockey Hall of Famer) Art Ross for missing the train to Montreal.

On Jan. 3, 1931, the Bruins lost a 5-3 decision to the Maroons in Montreal. Hockey Hall of Famer Nels Stewart established an NHL record when he scored two goals in four seconds during the third period of that game. Stewart’s feat has never been equaled, but Winnipeg’s Deron Quint did match the achievement on Dec. 15, 1995 in a game against Edmonton.

9:24 a.m.
One more reason to come down/watch tonight. I found this AP story from last Saturday:

Alexander Ovechkin found a constructive way to dull the pain of a freshly healing wound.
Ovechkin had four goals and an assist to lead the Washington Capitals to an 8-6 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.

The Russian star, who needed stitches to close a leg cut in Thursday's 4-3 overtime loss in Pittsburgh, scored a power-play goal 4:45 in to put Washington up 2-0. He added his second of the game early in the second before completing his first hat trick of the season in the third.
"Oh yeah, it was bothering me," Ovechkin said. "It was a little bit of pain but it's OK, I feel pretty good tonight. My parents were here, they arrived from Moscow and I was excited. It was a great time."


10:13 a.m.
I am about to head upstairs for practice. In the meantime, why not try our latest BruinsCast (a.k.a. Bruins PodCast). Yesterday, (before the trade, unfortunately) I spoke with Andrew Ference about maintaining positive momentum. Then I spoke with Jeremy Reich about his energy line and then I talked Winter Classic with Milan Lucic. Finally, I snuck into the media scrum for some thoughts from Coach Julien about his outdoor hockey experience. Just click on the link below to listen in:

 BruinsCast: Talking about the Winter Classic  

Metropolit played alongside Hnidy last season.
12:18 p.m.
Glen Metropolit talked about the trade this morning after the Bruins held a short optional skate.

"Driving in my car I got a text saying that (Hnidy) was coming here," said Metro. "He is really going to help our team. He's a good veteran guy and a solid defenseman.

"He keeps it simple and has a good first pass.

"And he works hard every night. He's going to be a good Bruin for us," he said.

Metropolit played with Hnidy last season on the Thrashers, so he knows of which he speaks.

"He'll bring hard work and consistency," added Glen. "That's one thing (I saw) playing in Atlanta, he brought his game every night.

"And he's a good guy in the room, too.

"With the injuries we have right now, he can step in and do a good job for us," he said.

Another good guy, Brandon Bochenski was sent to Anaheim in the trade, and Metropolit was philosophical about the transaction.

"(Brandon was the one) who texted me," said Metro. "And he said he was going to be spending his winter in Anaheim."

In light of the frigid temperatures in Boston, today, this elicited a chuckle from the myriad reporters around Metropolit's stall.

"I (texted), 'Congrats to you, buddy,'" said Metropolit before musing, "It's good for (both players).

"He's got a good chance to play out there and it's unfortunate that things didn't work out here for him."

Hear, hear. Best to you Bo!

12:54 p.m.
Head Coach Claude Julien spoke about the trade for the first time this morning.

"I've seen him enough, being around the league for awhile," said Julien of his new backliner. "He's a steady defenseman (and) he's in your face.

"He's gitty and comes to play every night and is probably known more for his defensive play.

"But he still has a pretty good shot," he said.

What that means is that GM Peter Chiarelli has delivered a pretty good shot to the arm of his defense Corps, who are currently missing Andrew Alberts, Bobby Allen and Aaron ward, and are relying heavily on young players like Matt Hunwick and Matt Lashoff.

"He'll give us some depth and he'll give us some experience," continued Julien, who said he would not predict how Hnidy's arrival would effect anyone's playing time.

"It all depends on everybody's play. The purpose of (this) move is to give us some depth and then, maybe, give some of those guys a (few) less minutes on the ice and take away some of their workload. Shane Hnidy is a guy who has the experience to come in here and help us do that."

And that could happen as soon as tonight. Word is that Hnidy is in Boston and is resting after his red-eye flight into New England. he is scheduled to meet with the press sometime this afternoon.

"You hope that can happen," said Julien when asked when Hnidy would make an impact on his club. "There are no guarantees.

"We have to put him out there and he has to do the job.

"We got him for that reason and we hope he comes in and makes that transition and adjustment as soon as possible," he said.

The bottom line.

"The goal of this trade was to do exactly (this). Have him come in and help us out right away on the back end."

1:23 p.m.
I had a chance to speak with Peter Chiarelli about Shane Hnidy.  Listen here

2:41 p.m.
Ran out for some lunch and got a reminder about the ongoing coat drive...

01.03.08 & 01.05.08: The Boston Bruins and Cradles to Crayons, are gearing up for winter and you can help! With over 400,000 children living in low-income or homeless situations this winter, the Boston Bruins and Cradles to Crayons are collecting new and slightly used coats and winter gear for those in need. On Thursday, January 3rd and Saturday, January 5th, Boston Bruins wives and volunteers from Cradles to Crayons will collection donations at the turnstiles and the Boston Bruins Foundation table on the main concourse.

So if you are coming in for the game, grab an extra coat to give!

Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Lashoff, left, is congratulated by teammate Boston Bruins left wing Marco Sturm of Germany after scoring a goal against the Atlanta Thrashers during the third period of their NHL hockey game in Boston on Monday, Dec. 31, 2007. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
3:08 p.m.
From Morning Skate
Coach Julien on the emergence of Matt Lashoff…
"When you develop players you give them opportunities to get better. He’s a young player who’s starting to show more and more of his talent…He’s a highly skilled player who sees the ice well and moves the puck well. Offensively he is capable of giving you that punch on the attack that you need, whether it’s getting the puck out of your own end or making those plays through the neutral zone. On the power play you saw that he’s got a pretty good shot, which he’s shown in Providence. I think he’s starting to feel a little more comfortable, we see that.  We’re giving him more ice time as we see warranted. He has deserved those extra minutes the last few games."

Coach Julien on the recent success of the power play…
"When you look back at the team we were moving the puck with a little bit more assertiveness. We had good net presence throughout the whole game, and that was the same on the power play. When guys were scoring goals from the point, there has to be something happening from the front. I thought we did a pretty good job getting through the net presence and at the same time those shots had to make it through (and) they did on that specific night. Hopefully we can build and that and have our power play to help us win hockey games."

5:12 p.m.
New Bruins d-man Shane Hnidy is in the TD Banknorth Garden.

"I grew up on the prairies of Canada (and) it's got that hockey feel to it again," said Hnidy of game night in Boston, comparing the local weather (i.e. toe numbing cold) to Ottawa's. "I've been pampered in Atlanta and Anaheim over the last three years.

"(The cold) doesn't bother me. It gives me that sense of it being hockey season and this is what it's about...and I am just looking forward to this opportunity."

Hnidy, who knows quite a few Boston Bruins, has begun to reconnect with those familiar faces.

"I've seen Metro, Savvy, Chara and Schaefer and I even think I had a short stint with (assistant) Coach, Doug Houda a few years ago."

Thinking for a second, Shane added with a laugh, "Yah, when you played with Coaches that means you are getting up there."

But even veterans get a little anxious and admitted that he was a "little nervous."

"Coming in to a new team you want to go out and prove to the guys how bad you want to be here," said Hnidy.
6:32 p.m.
Timmy led Our Boys out of the room, so he is starting...

Sounds as if Matt Hunwick has been sent down...

This is what I figure for tonight (based on pregame):
Chara-Wideman (sg) Thomas
Stuart-Ference (bg) Auld
Lashoff-Hnidy Go Bruins!

6:45 p.m.
Almost there folks, but I am going to switch over to the Running Recap. Go Bruins! JB
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